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How do you cut up wrought chain?


Jerry Fisher
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I recently bought some large wrought iron anchor chain and am having a touch time slicing it up. I tried my metal chop saw and its a slow go at best. What would you suggest. The links are about 1 1/2 inches across.

 

Jerry

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I use a cutting torch, a thin slice wheel on a grinder, or a band saw. if you have a large enough forge opening or a coal forge it would be easy to heat up a section and hot cut it, but if not i would recommend the thin slice wheel on a grinder.

 

~~DJ

 

 

PS : be careful with that wheel if it breaks and your in the way a world of pain will ensue. dont try to grind with then or put to much side to side pressure on the wheel. and if you can where a heavy coat or leathers to keep from messing your self up if you eat a wheel to the chest!

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The speed cut disks DJ's talking about have always worked great for blazing through any type of metal for me, but he is right, when these things start wearing out you're almost guaranteed that it will "blow up" on you, a face shild would be much better than safety glasses if you have one.

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Jerry,

 

I have to agree with DJ and Michael, you don't want to be in front of a cutting disk without proper equipment on when one of those high speed wheels come apart. However, we've all been in the position that we only have so much equipment to work with so let me offer these options. If you have a torch, give the link a good preheat where you wish to cut it and then slowly make your way through it. If it's 1-1/2" links, it's heavy but not huge, so within a few moments you can take care of it. If you don't have a torch, then like one of the guys said previously, if you can get it in a coal forge, hot cutting may be your next best option, though it may take you a couple to several heats. If you must use the cut off blades, be extra cautious. Use a face shield or a welding shield with a flip lense in it, long sleeves, long pants and some good leather shoes. If it were me, I have a leather apron I use while forging and I'd have that on as well. I've seen guys take a splinter of a busted cutting wheel and they'd give last weeks paycheck to back up and safely prepare. After doing all of that... :wacko: take your time and watch the blade wear and stop early and put on a new one if necessary. If you have access to an industrial bandsaw or even a "port-a-band" like they sell at Harbor Freight, that would be a good choice also. Just get a couple blades for the port-a-band.

 

Tony

Tony J. Havard

 

 

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

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To add to what has been said, if you torch cut you'll still have a sloppy mess on the ends you'll need to get rid of before forging. The composite nature of the material, i.e. thin strings of iron mixed with thin strings of silica slag, will almost always cause a really messy torch cut as the slag melts and blows out faster than the iron. If it's really clean wrought, and most anchor chain is, you may be okay.

 

The silica stringers in wrought are hell on cutoff wheels and bandsaw blades, but I would suggest trying to use a bandsaw for the best cut quality with the least waste of that precious wrought. Use a good bimetal blade like a Lenox diemaster, wrought eats all-hard carbon blades for breakfast and is still hungry afterwards... :blink:

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Cripes,gentlemen!Before you get into lasers and nanotechnology,has everyone already forgotten such a concept as a HACKSAW?!It'll take you 10 minutes max,and a good,aerobic exercise to boot.Highly recommended for all tending to overthink stuff!

God is in his heaven,and Czar is far away...

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Lennox also make a bimetal sawzall blade.

if you have a torch, just use it to heat the links and cut them with a chisel. this would be fast and efficient.

support Appalachian miners - smith with American coal

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Cripes,gentlemen!Before you get into lasers and nanotechnology,has everyone already forgotten such a concept as a HACKSAW?!It'll take you 10 minutes max,and a good,aerobic exercise to boot.Highly recommended for all tending to overthink stuff!

i second!

Practice random acts of Viking

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Cripes,gentlemen!Before you get into lasers and nanotechnology,has everyone already forgotten such a concept as a HACKSAW?!It'll take you 10 minutes max,and a good,aerobic exercise to boot.Highly recommended for all tending to overthink stuff!

 

 

Duly humbled, sorry! :wacko:

 

Good point, man. :lol: Thanks, I needed that. B)

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Thanks for the imput folks. Was intending to slice these links up in a lot of small slices to be more managable . The abrasive chop saw was just not working and thought there might be something a little faster. I realize the old standby hacksaw was an option albeit one I was hoping to avoid, with all the slices I have to do one link would take days.

 

thanks

Jerry

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Between a hack saw and the chop saw, I'd go back to the abrasive chop saw. I've hacksawed through heavy stock more than a few times, and I would not be so eager to face multiple inch and a half wrought cuts by hand. I'd go with a cut off wheel in an angle grinder. After you cut a chuck out of your link, there's still a ton more work to get maybe a guard out of the middle of it.

 

Good luck with it, Craig

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Craig,

Beleive me the hacksaw is cruel an unusual punishment. Guess Ill get a bi-metal blade for the old band saw and see what I can do, I had thought the chop saw would whiz through it. Im cutting a lot of small slices for some basic rounded guards. First time with the wrought. Thanks all for the suggestions.

 

Jerry

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